Porto will be facing one of their main rivals after defeating Estoril last week. They should be quite motivated since Benfica lost their match on Monday and it will certainly make them even more confident to conquer the three points against Sporting. For this game, manager Nuno Espírito Santo will not be expected to make changes in the line-up and they have almost a completely healthy squad with the only injury of the Portuguese defensive midfielder Rúben Neves. Vitória’s former striker Tiquinho might be able to make his debut for the club, since he will return from suspension this weekend. Porto’s fans will be expecting to defeat Sporting this week since a victory is the only result which puts them in first position for at least 24 hours. Then, they should implement a really attacking formation from the beginning of the match and Sporting should be really prepared for that.
Sporting will be visiting a really difficult team to beat at home, but they should still have some expectations of achieving at least one point in this clash against their rivals Porto. Even though they will face some difficulties with a key absentee, who generally gives them all the defensive stability in the starting team. William Carvalho got suspended and will miss this match and Sporting will lose one of their most experienced players from the starting team. Until this moment, they had no valuable player to replace him but with Palhinha’s return from loan, they will again have a decent alternative to play next to Adrien Silva. Sebastian Coates, who recently renewed his contract with the club, will be expected to return and should make the first team next to Ruben Semedo, which was Sporting’s most used centre back pairing. Zeegelar will be also believed to make the left back spot in a more conservative solution for the left, suggesting that Sporting will have some more defensive concern than usual.
Verdict & Prediction
After having defeated Estoril last weekend, Porto benefited from Benfica’s loss and they are now much closer to the leaders of the championship, being only one point behind them. This should perhaps be Porto’s key motivational factor and will give even more confidence to the team. With this being one of the most classical matches in the Portuguese League, the rivalry is high between both teams and the supporters will appear massively to support the team at home. It is believed that Porto are slight favourites to win considering that they play at home, but Sporting will also have opportunities to score during the match. On the other hand, only a victory will be a positive result for Porto this weekend. After Benfica’s defeat, they will have the opportunity to ascend to 1st position for at least 24 hours, since that Benfica will only host Nacional da Madeira on Sunday. This should be one even more motivating factor which will definitely see them pursuing the three points on Saturday.
Prediction: Over 2.25 goals
Odds: 1.95 Pinnacle